Todd Sechser

Todd S. Sechser

Professor of Politics and Public Policy

Education & Training
Ph.D., Political Science, Stanford University

Todd S. Sechser is the Pamela Feinour Edmonds and Franklin S. Edmonds Jr. Discovery Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia; Professor of Public Policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; and a Senior Fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs.

Dr. Sechser’s research interests include coercive diplomacy, emerging technologies, nuclear security, and political violence.  He is coauthor of the book Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and his research has appeared in academic journals such as International Organization, the American Journal of Political ScienceInternational Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the Non-Proliferation Review.  His writing on policy issues has been published in media outlets such as the Washington PostWall Street JournalBoston Globe, and the Christian Science Monitor, and he regularly consults for several government and military agencies.  He is also the director of the Program on Strategic Stability Evaluation, a multi-university working group studying the effects of new technologies on international military stability.

Dr. Sechser was previously a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a John M. Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University.  He received his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, where he wrote an award-winning doctoral dissertation.  Before entering academia, Dr. Sechser worked as a nuclear policy analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Example Publications:

  • Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy (Cambridge University Press, 2017).  With Matthew Fuhrmann.
  • “Reputations and Signaling in Coercive Bargaining.”  Journal of Conflict Resolution 62:2 (2018), pp. 318-45.
  • “A Bargaining Theory of Coercion.”  In Kelly M. Greenhill and Peter Krause, eds., The Power to Hurt: Coercion in Theory and Practice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).
  • “Military Technology and the Duration of Civil Conflict.”  International Studies Quarterly 61:3 (2017), pp. 704-20. With Jonathan D. Caverley.
  • “Signaling Alliance Commitments: Hand-Tying and Sunk Costs in Extended Nuclear Deterrence.”  American Journal of Political Science 58:4 (October 2014), pp. 919-35. With Matthew Fuhrmann.
  • “Crisis Bargaining and Nuclear Blackmail.”  International Organization 67:1 (Winter 2013), pp. 173-95. With Matthew Fuhrmann.
  • “The Illusion of Democratic Credibility.”  International Organization 66:3 (Summer 2012), pp. 457-89. With Alexander B. Downes.
  • “Goliath’s Curse: Coercive Threats and Asymmetric Power.” International Organization 64:4 (Fall 2010), pp. 627-60.